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WASHINGTON, July 27, 2001 - Chinese authorities last week arrested 16 Tibetans whom they suspected of involvement in an explosion that injured four Chinese gold miners in central Tibet, a witness to the arrests told Radio Free Asia (RFA). Authorities arrested 10 monks and six others in the Tengchen area of Tibet's Chamdo prefecture on July 18, according to the witness, who spoke to RFA by telephone in the Kham dialect on condition of anonymity. The arrests followed an explosion July 11 in a miner's tent, which seriously injured four Chinese gold miners. Chinese authorities suspected local Tibetans, zeroing in on those who had been in closest proximity to the blast, the witness said. "They closed the local monastery and arrested the monks," the witness said, adding that 40 additional soldiers and police were sent in to back up the local police. Among the 16 Tibetans who were arrested, a monk named Marong Tseta was beaten to death and another monk was tortured with an electric prod, the witness said, citing one of the Tibetans who was detained along with Tseta. Twelve of the 16 have since been released, the witness said, but no further details were immediately available. RFA?s report is available on the Web at www.rfa.org. Radio Free Asia is a private, nonprofit corporation broadcasting news and information to listeners in Asia where full, accurate, and timely news reports are unavailable. Created by Congress in 1996, RFA aims to deliver such news reports - along with opinions and commentaries - and to provide a forum for a variety of voices and opinions. RFA currently broadcasts in Burmese, Khmer, Cantonese, Shanghainese, Mandarin, Laotian, Vietnamese, Korean, Tibetan, and Uyghur. It adheres to the highest journalistic standards and aims to exemplify accuracy, balance, and fairness in its editorial content.


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